Who We Are
Nova House is an emergency and transitional shelter for women and children experiencing domestic and or family violence. Offering 24 hour, 7 day a week accommodations to help support and empower women to live free. We strive to promote expression of feeling and build self-esteem and confidence by providing individual counselling, educational and support groups and workshops.
Although our website and literature speaks to and focuses on "women and children," Nova House strives to include individuals of all genders. For those seeking support and shelter who do not identify as women, we do offer off-site accommodations.
The Selkirk Co-op on Abuse Against Women Inc., later known as NOVA HOUSE INC., was incorporated on March 27, 1985. We extend our appreciation to the women who saw a need and took the steps necessary to incorporate – Lorna Nash, Doreen Cooper-Thomas, Cheryl Kaziw, Marilyn Randle and Marlene Sandison. In August of 1986, a new group of volunteers took on the task of ensuring that the services to abused women and children would continue – Phyllis Bergmann, Helen Mels, Linda Hudye-Eblie, Emily Duguid and Vi Henkewich became the Board of Directors. It was also at this time that Waltraud Grieger volunteered for the organization and was offered the position of Executive Director, to pursue permanent funding for the Selkirk Cooperative on Abuse Against Women Inc.
Our beginning was humble - we worked out of a small office on Manitoba Avenue. We quickly realized the small space was not big enough, was not able to provide confidentiality for the women using our services, and most important, it was difficult to house and operate a crisis line at this location. Our next move was to Main Street, where we were able to rent space for individual and group counselling and house the volunteer operated crisis line.
The vision of the Board of Directors and the Executive Director led the Selkirk Cooperative on Abuse Against Women on a new path to pursue the acquisition of a facility that would allow the provision of residential services including short term crisis accommodation, individual and group counselling, a crisis line service and referrals to appropriate community resources. This was no easy task, but women have a proven record of taking on the impossible and making it happen. The timing could not have been better - a new courthouse was being built and several houses were being moved to make room for the new facility. A house was purchased for one dollar and with the cooperation of Manitoba Housing, NOVA HOUSE INC. was opened on March 15, 1987. We were now able to provide a continuum of services to abused women and children in the Interlake Region. Our grand opening was on August 5, 1987.
Although awareness and education were provided, the need for services increased and we negotiated an addition to the existing shelter, but we still had limited space for non-residential services, counselling and groups. It was time to look at moving into a larger space. Through the
cooperation of Manitoba Housing, the Provincial and Federal governments, we moved into a larger house on Vaughn Street in October of 1994.
While the new facility served us well, over time the space proved to be inadequate and in high need of repair. The Board of Directors decided to pursue a larger facility and began a capital campaign and fundraising venture that would last more than a year. Again, with the support of the Provincial and Federal governments, and so many other funders we met our fundraising goal and the City of Selkirk provided property for a larger shelter to be built in a new location.
The structure took a year to finish and in May 2017 we moved into our new facility, continuing to offer residential and non-residential emergency services, and for the first-time long-term transitional services. Nova House is a place of serenity, peace and genuine caring, for women and children who want to be free from abuse. We recognize and strive towards a goal of ensuring that our shelter can meet the unique needs of every client in a way that empowers them and start their healing process.
NOVA HOUSE also manages one interim housing unit in the Selkirk area that provide temporary housing for women and their children when they leave the shelter but are not ready to set up independent living within the community or are waiting for safe and stable housing. We are also able to provide off site residential care for male individuals who need support.
In addition to the Nova House Shelter we operate a second-hand thrift store in the City of Selkirk called Twice Over. The profits of Twice Over are used to support the programming at Nova House. The store itself is run by one staff person who utilizes the help of volunteers. Many donations that come to Nova House go directly to Twice Over. Women and children who need our services are given a voucher so that they can shop for free and choose the items they need. Click here to learn more.
A 24 hour, 7 days a week crisis line
Safe and secure short term emergency accommodations for abused women and their children
Individual short and long term counselling
One on one counselling for women with childhood sexual abuse issues
Assistance in accessing community resources
Weekly support groups to encourage women to share, heal, and grow as individuals
Individual and group counselling for children
Follow-up programs and ongoing support
Speakers to visit schools, agencies, or community organizations to provide information about abuse and services for abused women and their children
Children who have witnessed violence in the home often have feelings of sadness, anger, confusion, and guilt. The goal of the children’s program is to listen and provide support for children and to help them understand their feelings.
A safe environment
Children’s groups – counselling and fun activities
Age appropriate information for children about domestic violence
Activities that promote expression of feelings and the building of self esteem
Referrals to community resources